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You're Always Within 170 Miles of a Starbucks

You're Always Within 170 Miles of a Starbucks

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Blogger James Davenport calculates the furthest you can get from a Starbucks (answer: not very far)

Map of Starbucks locations.

Nothing sets you into a bigger state of panic than not knowing where your nearest Starbucks is. But blogger James Davenport loves maps, which is why he created one dedicated solely to every company-owned Starbucks Coffee shop in the United States.

Starbucks may be based in Seattle, but it most certainly has a substantial influence on coffee culture across America. This certainly stands true when you check out Davenport’s map. According to his calculations, the closest Starbucks location is never more than about 170 miles away — a huge sigh of relief for those in need of a pumpkin spice latte.

The jaw-dropping conclusion that Davenport made, based on a comparison of the U.S. 2010 Census and each Starbucks location, is that "more than 80 percent of the U.S. (that’s 250,000,000 people) live within 20 miles of a Starbucks." While those calculations can’t compare to McDonalds’ results, (which state that the furthest you can get from the fast-food joint is approximately 107 miles away), Starbucks is certainly racking up the coffee (and the bucks) in more locations than imaginable.

Tayler Stein is a Junior Writer at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TaylerSteinTDM.

A serious case of caffeine overdose

If you stand on the corner of Regent Street and Wigmore Street in central London, you are within five miles of 164 branches of Starbucks. This is a fact that is liable to provoke sudden dizziness, followed by a deep, soul-corroding fear for the future of humankind, sending you scuttling to your bedroom to throw yourself, sobbing, underneath a pillow - although this won't help much either, since that pillow itself is within five miles of 158 branches of Starbucks, if it's my bedroom you're in, which, now I come to think of it, I hope you aren't.

You can calculate your personal "Starbucks density" on the company's website (, but be warned: any figure you come up with now will soon be out of date. Yesterday, the company announced a massive UK expansion, focused on London, where it expects to open new outlets at the rate of one a fortnight over the next 10 years.

How many Starbucks is too many? In what seems now like a distant historic era - actually, it was 1999 - the frenzied growth of the US chain became a symbol of expansionist multinational capitalism, all the more insidious because of the way each branch posed as a cosy neighbourhood coffee shop when, in fact, it was driving neighbourhood coffee shops to the wall. (Admittedly, the argument always had more credibility in San Francisco or Seattle than in Britain, where we didn't really have coffee shops in the first place.)

Now there are 530 branches in the UK, but that doesn't mean there isn't still room for aggressive expansion. Starbucks is a long-time practitioner of clustering, whereby the chain opens outlets so close to each other that it ends up cannibalising its own business. At first glance, this doesn't seem to make any business sense. "But that's because they're in it for the long game, which is market share," says Andrew Simms, of the New Economics Foundation, which has published reports condemning the "cloning" of the British high street. In other words, cannibalisation is worth it, if the overall effect is to solidify your position as the first name anyone thinks of when they think of coffee.

You or I might feel that living within five miles of 158 Starbucks is plenty. But look at it from Starbucks' point of view: there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of shops within five miles of my flat that aren't yet branches of Starbucks. Although it is probably only a matter of time.

What is a frappuccino?

Let's start with the basics: A frappuccino just a milkshake. Really. You're probably having one of two reactions. "Um. my milkshakes don't have ice in them." Or "Yes, I am from New England." A milkshake is actually defined as milk and ice cream whipped until foamy. But in New England that very thing is called a "frappe" (pronounced "frap").

So in New England, a frappe has ice cream, but as you well know, a Starbucks frappuccino doesn't have ice cream, just milk and ice — which in New England would be called a milkshake. Confused yet? Don't worry, so are we. The moral of the story is New England isn't very good at naming things and Starbucks took the word "frappe," made it sound a little more Italian, and in 1993 tested the frappuccino. It went over very well, and by 1995 the frappuccino went to every Starbucks store. And those poor New Englanders were stuck screaming "That's not a frappe!"

Creative Recipes That Give Fall Foods A New Twist

Pumpkin, cranberry, sage, nutmeg, sweet potato—these flavors say “fall” just as clearly as colorful leaves and chilly mornings do. This year, why not shake up your traditional autumn menu by exploring those tastes in a new way?

Creative chefs across the U.S. are reimagining seasonal culinary classics with delicious results. Here are a few ways to delight—and surprise—your family with fall flavors this year.

These dishes are sure to add some seasonal spirit to your kitchen.

Butternut Squash Pizza

The butternut squash is everywhere in autumn. But once you’ve made a couple of batches of butternut squash soup and roasted up some squash cubes, what next?

Zoe Robinson, the restaurateur behind Billie Jean and other St. Louis-area restaurants, suggests pizza. Yes, pizza.

“This pizza is one of our favorite fall dishes,” Robinson said. “The sweet fall flavor of the squash, the saltiness of the Parmigiana, the smokiness of the speck and the heat from the chiles is truly unique.”

Robinson said vegetarians will find this dish just as delicious without the meat.


  • Your favorite pizza dough recipe
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, cut in half, seeded and sliced very thin (You’ll have extra squash, which you can freeze for use later.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 Fresno pepper, sliced into rounds
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons brown butter
  • Sliced speck or prosciutto ham (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 450 F. If you’re using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to heat it now.
  2. Roll out the dough to desired thickness.
  3. Heat the grapeseed oil on medium-high and fry the sage leaves for 1-2 minutes until crispy. Place on a paper towel. If you’re using a pizza pan, put your dough on it according to your dough recipe instructions. If you’re using a heated pizza stone, dust it with flour or cornmeal.
  4. Toss the squash in olive oil with salt and pepper and then place it evenly over the pizza dough. Add pine nuts and the Fresno pepper. Top with mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  5. Put in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. Keep your eye on it to avoid burning.
  6. Remove pizza and drizzle with brown butter and place crispy sage leaves on top. If desired, top with thinly sliced speck or prosciutto.

Pear Ginger Chai

Chai is a great fall drink because the spices in it overlap almost entirely with those that are used in “pumpkin spice” mixtures—including nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Chicago’s Chiya Chai Cafe takes that autumnal flavor to the next level by integrating pear into the mix.

Owner Swadesh Shrestha calls pear “an often forgotten, but quintessential fall fruit” that’s rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. “The sweetness of the fruit, complemented by the heat of warming ginger and the aromatic flavors of our signature chai spices, especially in the colder months, makes for a perfect fall drink,” Shrestha said.


  • 1/2 cup chai concentrate (Chiya Chai recommends its own small-batch variety.)
  • 1/2 cup coconut, almond or other nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed ginger juice
  • 2 tablespoons organic pear juice
  1. Pour all ingredients in a cup.
  2. Stir with a spoon.
  3. Heat the cup in a microwave for 90 seconds or over the stove top until the chai is close to a boil.

Pollo A La Parrilla Tacos

Your family may not be ready to replace its beloved sweet potatoes and marshmallows dish on Thanksgiving, but there’s plenty of time outside the holiday to play around with those pleasantly orange tubers.

Chef Pepe Barajas of La Josie in Chicago has a taco that could change the way your family thinks about sweet potatoes. Loaded with chicken, pumpkin seeds and butternut squash as well as sweet potatoes, these are tacos that will impress at any dinner this season.

“The autumn season allows us to be really creative with our tacos,” Barajas said. “While the weather still allows you to utilize the grill for chicken, the sweet potato and butternut squash can be roasted to caramelize the flavors and balance the smoke from the grill.”

The best part? After a bit of chopping and preparatory roasting, the recipe is simple.


  • Sweet potato, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • Butternut squash, 1-inch cubes
  • Grilled chicken, chopped
  • Soft corn tortillas, warmed
  • Pumpkin seeds
  1. Roast sweet potato at 425 F for 30-40 minutes or until crispy. Roast butternut squash at 400 F for 40-50 minutes or until caramelized.
  2. Assemble chicken, sweet potato and butternut squash in tortillas.
  3. Top with pumpkin seeds and your favorite sauce.

Roasted Guinea Hen With Chestnut Puree And Glazed Cranberries

If you’re looking for something unusual to invigorate your family’s fall menu, Chef Martial Noguier’s guinea hen recipe is the dish to try. This multistep preparation offers a new take on cranberries and chestnuts.

“[It’s] perfect for the season because it utilizes fall ingredients, but is still light and delicate—a welcome break from stews and hearty dishes,” said Noguier, owner of Bistronomic in Chicago. “We use the cranberry because it is an autumn favorite.”

The acidity provides a nice counterpoint to the dish’s fattiness, he said.

Stuffing the meat with duxelles, a creamy chopped mushroom mixture, makes the dish that much more luxurious.


For the mushroom duxelles:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 cup diced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup yuzu juice
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 4 cups brown chicken stock
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 pound baby turnips, blanched
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, blanched and sliced
  • 1/2 pound pearl onions, blanched and peeled
  • 1/2 pint cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 30 chestnuts
  • 1 tablespoon duck fat
  • 1 cup shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche

For the mushroom duxelles:

  1. Sweat the shallots. Add diced shiitake mushrooms. Deglaze with white wine. Reduce until almost dry.
  2. Add heavy cream and reduce.
  3. Finish with crème frâiche. Chill.
  1. Clean and trim hen breasts.
  2. Braise legs and thighs in chicken stock until tender.
  3. Shred meat and set aside for use in ragout.
  4. Stuff breasts with chilled mushroom duxelles.
  5. Pan-roast breasts over medium heat until medium.
  1. Sweat carrot, celery and shallot with garlic clove, bay leaf and black peppercorns. Deglaze with brandy and yuzu and then add cranberries.
  2. Reduce until almost dry.
  3. Add brown chicken stock. Simmer and reduce slightly.
  4. Strain through a chinois.
  1. Heat baby turnips, garlic, pearl onions, cranberries, shredded and braised guinea hen meat, and chopped parsley with 2 ounces of sauce.
  1. Heat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Using a small sharp knife or a chestnut knife, carve an “X” in the flat side of each chestnut. Place chestnuts in an even layer, “X” side down on a baking sheet.
  3. Transfer to the oven and roast until opened, 10-12 minutes.
  4. Peel immediately, using a towel if chestnuts are too hot to touch. Coarsely chop.
  5. Heat duck fat in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent.
  6. Add chestnuts and cook for about 1 minute. Add vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  7. After cooking, carefully transfer to a blender. Blend with crème frâiche until smooth. Season to taste.
  8. Plate the chestnut puree in the center, add the ragout, position the guinea hen breasts on top and drizzle the sauce on the plate.

Whether you’re looking for a simple but imaginative fall drink or a culinary challenge that will have your family tasting fall in a new way, these dishes are sure to add some seasonal spirit to your kitchen.

A former downtown development professional, Natalie Burg is a freelancer who writes about growth, entrepreneurialism and innovation.

This article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical or legal advice, or to indicate the availability or suitability of any product or service for your unique circumstances.

Capital One does not provide, endorse, or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The third parties listed are solely responsible for their products and services, and all trademarks listed are the property of their respective owners.

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Ellie Conley

Texas may have the second largest number of Starbucks, but that's still one Starbucks for every 27,302 people. Sorry, Texans it looks like you still have to wait in a pretty long line for that coffee Frapp.

Ellie Conley

You won't have to wait 127 Hours (@Utah, that was filmed in your state) for a Starbucks, but honestly, you might not be far off. There's one Starbucks for every 30,683 people.

More than 20 years after McDonald's opened its doors, the chain created its most famous menu item to date. The Big Mac, one of the most popular McDonald's creations of all time, was first gobbled up by fast food fans in 1968.


The on-the-go fast food breakfast was undeniably perfected by McDonald's when the chain rolled out its Egg McMuffin in 1972.

For Presidio, the ‘Middle of Nowhere’ Is a Fine Place to Be

Big Bend wanderers, celebrities drifting down from Marfa, and other end-of-the-liners have officially discovered the border town of Presidio. They’re late by about eight centuries, though: People have lived for so long at the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Rio Conchos that the valley surrounding Presidio is thought to be the oldest continually cultivated farmland in Texas, if not the United States.

“It’s funny,” says John Ferguson, the mayor of this dusty town 60 miles south of Marfa. “Presidio is the oldest town anywhere in the entire Big Bend area, but so little of our history is truly known, even to those of us who live right here on top of it.”

The valley surrounding Presidio is thought to be the oldest continually cultivated farmland in Texas, if not the United States.

It’s late March, and Ferguson’s family and I are digging into platters of enchiladas and shrimp diablo in Ojinaga, the Mexican sister city to Presidio. The week prior they’d done this very thing—dined with a curious traveler in an Ojinaga restaurant—but their guest then was Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef, author, and television personality, who died last June. Bourdain had been on a tour of the farthest corners of West Texas for his CNN megahit Parts Unknown.

But Bourdain, who quickly dashed off for Big Bend, missed what was the best part of my Presidio/Ojinaga experience: riding bikes across the border from Presidio with Ferguson—who looked at ease aboard his ’30s clunker with high-rise handlebars—and his wife, Lucy. When you ride bikes with the mayor from bakery to plaza to mezcalería—regardless of which side of the Rio Grande you’re on—you can’t go 10 yards without someone waving, “Hola, Señor Ferguson!” Even the border patrol agents, as we pedaled cautiously across the bridge, gave him a salute.

And it’s not just because he’s the mayor of this palm-lined outpost The Washington Post identified as the sixth-most-isolated (“middle of nowhere”) town in the country last year. Ferguson is also the school counselor at Presidio High School, where Lucy, a trombone player, teaches band. With their two kids, the Fergusons have their own family mariachi band, Mariachi Santa Cruz, which plays regularly on both sides of the border, and a funky fusion band, The Resonators. The Fergusons’ daughter, Molly, whose boyfriend lives in Ojinaga, sings Tejano songs with such soul and authenticity that she won the Austin Tejano Music Coalition’s 2017 Tejano Idol award.

This kind of cultural commingling is the norm in Presidio, population 5,106, where most lines between “us” and “them” are happily nonexistent. And you don’t have to go cycling with the mayor to pick up on that. Check out the Presidio water tower, where Los Angeles muralist Miles “El Mac” MacGregor has painted a striking portrait of a woman gazing upon Ojinaga. This 2018 gift of public art from Mexico to the Mexican Consulate in Presidio sends a compelling message—good neighbors look out for each other.

Unlike residents in some Texas border towns, no one in Presidio shies away from Ojinaga the towns feel like one community, and with a population of about 28,000, Ojinaga is for many Presidio residents the preferred side of the border for grocery shopping and dining out. Ojinaga has seen relatively little cartel violence, and it feels safe to locals the flow back and forth across the border is a normal part of daily life. As Presidio County Attorney Rod Ponton told me one night in Ojinaga over dollar margaritas, “Presidio without Ojinaga is like San Antonio without the south side, without the missions. They are inseparable.”

If you’re just passing through Presidio—and most travelers are—it’s easy to get the wrong idea. You won’t see hip galleries or boutique hotels, and things can seem a bit, um, too quiet. But if you slow down, stick around, and keep an open mind, you’ll see the life beneath the surface, a life that is not quite the United States and not quite Mexico, but an in-between character you won’t find anywhere but the border. I got a glimpse of it in St. Francis Plaza, a stucco-walled town square dedicated to the Franciscans who first established a mission in Presidio/Ojinaga in 1660. It was here during an outdoor concert, part of Presidio’s Bluebonnet Music Series, that musician Chet O’Keefe told me, “I tried living in Austin, but it wasn’t my thing. I like Presidio—it’s the people. There’s a real community here, and that’s what matters.”

“Presidio without Ojinaga is like San Antonio without the south side, without the missions. They are inseparable.”

Stop in for lunch at the friendly Bean Cafe, and you’ll see what he means. Chances are owner Hector Armendariz will come by to say hello while his wife, Sonia, keeps the plates coming. This buzzing gathering spot is where you can catch half of Presidio during the lunch hour—high school staffers, border patrol agents, tourists passing through from Big Bend Ranch State Park, or bikers who just cruised the wonderfully scenic River Road (FM 170) that heads east along the Rio Grande to Terlingua.

The Adorable Mystery Of Where Baby Corn Comes From Is Officially Solved

Ever since we uncovered the startling truth about baby carrots, we've been brimming with questions about our favorite fruits and vegetables -- and we're on a crusade to find answers.

Next up, the miniature version of a summer cookout staple: baby corn.

Unlike its baby carrot brethren, baby corn is not a lie. In fact, it's precisely what it sounds like: an immature ear of corn, picked before its prime.

Baby corn is mildly sweet and has a satisfying snap to it. The little guys, usually only a few inches long, are commonly used in Asian cuisine, including stir fries, curries and noodle dishes. If a dish lacks texture, baby corn provides a pleasant crunch without an overpowering flavor.

You can easily find canned baby corn at your neighborhood supermarket, but don't expect to find the fresh version on your daily grocery run. Fresh baby corn is hard to come by in the U.S. since the vast majority of the crop is imported from Asian countries such as Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia.

While there are special varieties of corn that have been developed specifically to produce more ears per stalk, making baby corn easier to harvest, most common types of corn produce baby corn just fine. Some farms even use the same stalk to harvest baby corn and regular corn later on.

But baby corn production doesn't gel with American agriculture practices. Some small farms grow baby corn in limited amounts (check your local farmers market!), but most big farms don't bother, according to Carol Miles, Washington State Professor of Vegetable Horticulture. Miles told The Huffington Post that growing baby corn is a labor-intensive process, relying on hand harvest and husking.

If you're really craving fresh baby corn, you can order some online, or even grow your own if you have enough space to plant a few stalks. It's simple: "Grow sweet corn and harvest the ears within three days of seeing the silks emerge," Miles told HuffPost. "Voila, you have baby corn."

Corn silks are those hair-like fibers that emerge from the tip of an ear of corn. They may be a pain to remove when husking corn on the cob, but they're a big help when it comes to knowing when to harvest baby corn.

Now that we're sufficiently educated on its origins, we're gonna go ahead and add baby corn into every stir fry from here on out. They're too adorable and delicious not to.

5 Healthy Drinks Runners Should Order at Starbucks

Get your fix with the choices that will hit your cravings&mdashand help your body recover from your workout.

Coffee is pretty much a runner&rsquos best friend. The aroma alone can lure us out of bed for an early morning run, and downing the drink can provide a bunch of performance benefits during it, too. Yet when it comes to getting your cup at America&rsquos favorite coffeehouse&mdashStarbucks&mdashmany of the menu items may not give you the healthy boost you&rsquore looking for.

&ldquoMany of the fancier drinks at Starbucks [think: the classic pumpkin spice latte, or just about any Frappuccino] are filled with unnecessary sugar, fat, and calories,&rdquo says cookbook author Dana Angelo White, R.D., A.T.C. &ldquoRunners want to choose [beverages] that offer the most hydration and antioxidants and the lowest amounts of added sugar.&rdquo

That isn&rsquot to say you need to entirely. Endurance athletes, in general, don&rsquot need to be as strict as the general population on limiting added sugars to the American Heart Association guidelines, which tell men to cap added sugar at 36 grams a day and women at no more than 25 grams. That&rsquos because you&rsquore expending so many carbohydrates during exercise, and fast-acting carbs like sugar help your muscles refuel afterwards, says Kelly Jones, R.D., a certified specialist in sports dietetics.

One thing you may want to avoid, though, especially if you have a sensitive stomach? Artificial sweeteners, which can cause GI issues for some runners&mdashthink bloating, cramping, and even diarrhea&mdashand in general, don&rsquot offer athletes much in the way of needed carbs and energy. Runners may also want to limit sugar alcohols, another type of sugar substitute that, if consumed in high enough amounts (like more than a few grams), may cause similar problems. Items advertised as &ldquoskinny&rdquo or &ldquolight&rdquo typically signal artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, Jones explains.

Something else to keep an eye out from a GI standpoint is excess whipped cream, which can also cause digestive issues for some runners, especially if consumed prerun, she adds.

[Build a killer midsection in the kitchen for effortless miles on the road with Eat for Abs!]

Lastly, pay attention to caffeine content, says runner Kim Hoban, R.D., C.P.T. For some, caffeine can trigger bowel movements, which can be a good thing before a run&mdashand a terrible thing during a run (or worse, a race). Espresso drinks, on the whole, are more caffeinated than drip coffee or teas. In general, Hoban recommends runners looking for a preworkout or prerace caffeine boost choose beverages between 100 and 300 milligrams.

With these guidelines in mind, here are five dietitian-approved drinks to consider on your next Starbucks stop.

Featured Dark Roast Drip Coffee

Starbucks offers multiple drip coffee varieties, and flavor isn&rsquot the only variance between them. The lighter the coffee roast, the more caffeine it contains, says Jones. Starbucks&rsquos Blonde Roast, for example, contains approximately 360 milligrams per 16 ounce serving, which, for some folks, may cause unpleasant side effects, like headache, jitters, and rapid heart rate.

A safer bet is the Featured Dark Roast, which has 260 milligrams. Add your preference of milk and a small dose of sugar (if you like). Sip approximately one hour before exercising to maximize the caffeine boost, says Jones.

Per 16 ounce serving (not including milk or sweetener): 5 calories, 1 gram protein, 0 gram carbs, 0 gram fiber, 0 gram sugar, 0 gram fat, 0 gram saturated fat, 10 milligrams sodium, 260 milligrams caffeine

Matcha Green Tea Latte With 2 Percent, Whole, or Soy Milk

This flavorful, slightly caffeinated beverage makes another solid choice postworkout, thanks to its favorable carb-to-protein ratio, says Jones. The matcha also offers antioxidants, adds Hoban.

If you&rsquore nervous about that seemingly high sugar count&mdash32 grams&mdashknow that the majority (likely 24 to 25 grams) comes from naturally occuring sugar in the milk. Translation: &ldquoThe added sugar is actually a lot lower than it looks,&rdquo explains Jones.

Also, a note on milk choice: Though almond milk and coconut milk are trendy, lower-calorie options, they offer little protein. Instead, opt for soy milk&mdashor, if you can tolerate dairy, 2 percent or whole milk.

Per 16 ounce (with 2 percent milk): 240 calories, 12 grams protein, 34 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 32 grams sugar, 7 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat, 160 milligrams sodium, 80 milligrams caffeine

Teavana Shaken Strawberry Green Tea Infusion

With a dash of sweetness from liquid cane sugar and zero artificial flavors and sweeteners, this chilled beverage provides a dose of antioxidants from green tea flavored with mint, flowers, and lemongrass, says Angelo White. Antioxidants are thought to help protect you from the damaging effects of free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

This tea is particularly good if sipped within 30 minutes after a run, adds Jones. &ldquoIt provides great hydration and a little bit carbs so your blood sugar doesn&rsquot drop.&rdquo

Per 16 ounce serving: 45 calories, 0 grams protein, 11 grams carbs, 0 grams fiber, 11 grams sugar, 0 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 10 milligrams sodium, 30 milligrams caffeine

Double Shot Coffee Smoothie (Dark Chocolate)

This bottled beverage is a caffeinated mix of cocoa, organic banana puree and almond milk, providing 8 grams of protein and 29 grams of carbs per serving. That nutrition profile makes it a &ldquotasty alternative to chocolate milk after a run, especially after a morning run [thanks to the light caffeine boost],&rdquo says Jones. &ldquoIt&rsquos a good option to get recovery nutrients in.&rdquo

On top of that, the banana provides potassium, which can help athletes ward off muscle cramps.

Per 10 ounce serving: 170 calories, 8 grams protein, 29 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 24 grams sugar, 3 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 200 milligrams sodium, 105 milligrams caffeine

Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea

For another non-coffee option, try this hot tea. Green tea, in general, provides antioxidants, says Jones, and this particular variety also offers a refreshing, bright flavor thanks to spearmint, lemon verbena and lemongrass. Sip it any time of day for a gentle caffeine boost.

Per 16 ounce serving: 0 calories, 0 grams protein, 0 grams carbs, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams sodium, 40 milligrams caffeine

10 Best Bird Hikes

Listening to one of my friends rave about the birds she saw on her trip to the “spectacular Nogales sewage ponds,” I realized that I’m different from many serious bird-watchers.

Arizona is legendary among birders worldwide, thanks to a diverse habitat, mild climate, and a prime location on the Pacific Flyway, a major migration route. But to me there’s more to birding than simply compiling a bulging life list―the stage is just as important as the play. Arizona is renowned for its landscape and for its avian visitors, so why not combine them?

Following are 10 of the most scenic birding areas in the state―most include a stop for caffeine (essential fuel) or a meal nearby. The migration starts this month in the low desert, peaks in April, and lasts well into May. And these spots are worth a visit even if you can’t tell an eagle from an egret.

1. Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

Restricted access to the refuge’s lovely riparian Brown Canyon southwest of Tucson ensures that the wildlife remains undisturbed. On a moderate, naturalist-led, 5-mile hike, you might see a painted redstart or sulphur-bellied flycatcher―or just possibly catch a glimpse of a jaguar. One was videotaped near here in 1996. There’s an impressive natural stone arch at the turnaround point.

Info: From Tucson take State 86 west 20 miles turn south on State 286 and go 23 miles to the turnoff just past milepost 21. Guided hikes are scheduled the second and fourth Sat of the month Nov–Apr $5 per person, reservations required. or 520/823-4251 ext. 116.

Refuel: Drive the long way back to Tucson via Arivaca Rd. and grab a sandwich and latte at the Gadsden Coffee Company. 16600 W. Arivaca Rd., Arivaca 520/398-3251.

Just north of Tucson in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Catalina State Park is a pristine refuge of Sonoran Desert flora and fauna, including more than 150 species of birds. Watch for dark brown-and-copper Harris’s hawks hunting for rabbits from perches on saguaros. The easy, 0.75-mile Birding Trail provides an introduction the longer Romero Canyon Trail (up to 6.2 miles round-trip, moderate to difficult) climbs to cool mountain pools. Listen for the beautiful, descending call of a canyon wren.

Info: From Ina Rd. in Tucson, take Oracle Rd. (State 77) north 6 miles to the park entrance. From $6 per vehicle. or 520/628-5798.

Refuel: There’s a Starbucks five minutes south of the park entrance. 10785 N. Oracle Rd., Oro Valley 520/229-1979.

Birders know Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains because of its most spectacular migrant visitor, the elegant trogon. All visitors are thrilled by the towering peach-colored rhyolite formations guarding the entrance to the canyon. The South Fork Trail (6 easy miles round-trip to and from Maple Camp) makes a good first exploration.

Info: From I-10 just east of the state border with New Mexico, take State 80 south 27 miles to Portal Rd. and go 8 miles west to Cave Creek Canyon. $5 per vehicle. or 520/364-3468.

Refuel: The tiny Rodeo Grocery & Cafe makes the best cinnamon rolls in either state. $. 1 Main St., Rodeo, NM 505/557-2295.

Okay, Dead Horse Ranch State Park doesn’t have the most prepossessing name, but you won’t see any decomposing equines here (as the original owners did). You will find the Verde River Greenway, a protected 6-mile stretch of the Verde River, and a 1.5-mile easy loop trail. Watch for bald eagles soaring overhead and tuxedoed black phoebes perched just above the water. If you’re lucky, you might glimpse a river otter sporting in the slow current.

Info: From Cottonwood, drive west on Main St., then north 1?2 mile on 10th St. $6 per vehicle. or 928/634-5283.

Refuel: Patio decks at the Jerome Palace Haunted Hamburger, 10 miles west, overlook the Verde Valley go for the ribs. $. 410 N. Clark St., Jerome 928/634-0554.

5. Hassayampa River Preserve

The Yavapai Indians called the Hassayampa “the river that flows upside down,” because for most of its course the water remains underground. But it burbles topside and runs year-round through this Nature Conservancy property, beneath towering Gooding willows, Fremont cottonwoods, and California fan palms. On the easy, 0.5-mile Palm Lake Trail loop, watch for two magnificent and rare raptors found here: the zone-tailed hawk and the black hawk.

Info: Take U.S. 60 about 3 miles southeast of Wickenburg. $5, ages 11 and under free. or 928/684-2772.

Refuel: The Pony Espresso serves a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of hot espresso on top. 233 W. Wickenburg Way, Wickenburg 928/684-0208.

6. Imperial National Wildlife Refuge

Pintail ducks and great blue herons eye the coyotes and desert bighorn sheep that wander down to drink at this astonishing juxtaposition of desert and the Colorado River. You can hike among cactus in the morning, then canoe among cattails in the afternoon. Red Cloud Mine Road provides vehicle access to several river overlooks as well as the moderate 1.3-mile Painted Desert Trail loop, which winds through a dramatic volcanic landscape.

Info: From Yuma take U.S. 95 north 25 miles turn west on Martinez Lake Rd. and go 10 miles, then continue north on Red Cloud Mine Rd. for 3 miles to the Bob Jantzen Visitor Center. or 928/783-3371.

Refuel: The huge Pilots Special breakfast at the aviation-themed Yuma Landing Restaurant will keep you going all day. $. 195 S. Fourth Ave., Yuma 928/782-7427.

Mormon Lake is the largest natural lake in Arizona―usually. Its size varies with rainfall, and it occasionally disappears altogether, when the area is known as “Mormon Meadow.” But it’s always one of the best spots in the Southwest to see overwintering bald eagles, as well as a half-dozen other raptors, including golden eagles and peregrine falcons. Take the Mormon Mountain Trail 3 miles and 1,500 feet up to the summit of 8,449-foot Mormon Mountain to be at eye level with the falcons.

Info: Call ahead to check road conditions. From I-17 just south of Flagstaff, take Lake Mary Rd. (Forest Hwy. 3) about 23 miles southeast to the lake. or 928/527-3600.

Refuel: Try the big T-bone at the historic Mormon Lake Lodge Steakhouse. $$ call for hours. Main St., Mormon Lake 928/354-2227.

Could anyone fail to be charmed by hummingbirds? The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve, south of Sierra Vista, is one of the best spots in the United States for watching the little feathered helicopters as they battle over flowers and feeders. Fourteen species have been spotted here, including the rare berylline hummingbird. A stroll along the creekside nature trail might also reveal amusing, raccoonlike coatis.

Info: From Sierra Vista, take State 92 south 5 miles to Ramsey Canyon Rd. head west 31?2 miles to the preserve. $5 per person, ages 15 and under free. or 520/378-2785.

Refuel: Build a burrito at the Palominas Trading Post and Country Diner, 10 miles south. $. 10448 State 92, Palominas 520/366-5529.

The huge cottonwood trees shading the waters of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area provide a haven for wildlife. In fact, half of all the bird species known in the United States have been recorded here―more than 365. Along the easy river trail, where you can wander 1 mile or 20, look for the electric scarlet of a vermilion flycatcher snatching insects on the wing.

Info: From Sierra Vista, go 7 miles east on State 90 to the San Pedro House visitor center. or 520/439-6400.

Refuel: Caffe Olê serves breakfast all day. $. 400 E. Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista 520/458-6261.

You could drive within a mile of this 357-acre jewel and miss it. Tucked in a valley off a high grass plateau, Wenima Wildlife Area straddles the Little Colorado River―stream-size here and corralled by numerous beaver dams. Look for kestrels hovering over the fields bordering the riverside trail (2 easy miles round-trip) and mountain bluebirds in the junipers along the bluffs.

Info: Call ahead for road conditions. From Springerville take U.S. 60 northwest 3 miles turn north on U.S. 180/U.S. 191 and look for the sign. or 928/367-4281.

Refuel: Java Blues makes a killer cappuccino. 341 E. Main St., Springerville 928/ 333-5282.